Ugh, so I’m going to talk about something that most people probably don’t give a shit about but that bothers me: sports fans and the internet. I’m a pretty big sports fan as has previously been described, especially when it comes to football. I have blogs and sites that I go to every day to read about my teams. I have in the past posted on forums and messageboards. That of course has a bad reputation and there are many bad to literally insane messageboard/forums/blogs out there for any team in any sport you can think of. But there’s also some good ones where you can have a back and forth with intelligent fans of your team.
And unlike pre-internet days, it really can help you vent your disappointments and celebrate your victories with people of like mind. As I pointed out in my college football orphan post, I’m a fan of a team(UGA) who doesn’t have that many friends who are also fans of that team, so many time a blog or messageboard is the only chance I have to vent or talk about said team. One that I’ve been going to for years is “Get The Picture” http://blutarsky.wordpress.com/, one of the few sites I have in my links. It’s run by a guy that I used to post with on an old now defunct UGA forum years ago.
Being a blog and not a messageboard, and being run by a levelheaded guy, it doesn’t get nearly as crazy as a lot of places do after a loss or whatever. But reading the comments section on there still gives you a microcosm of the world of internet sports fandom at large. Which is to say that it reminds me a lot of partisan politics. You have people that live and die by their belief in one issue or another and anyone that disagrees is not a “real fan” or a bad person or whatever.
To bring it back to UGA, blind homers and people that think everything is great and you should never question any coach or player are called “Disney Dawgs”. I’m not sure what the name is for those that bring up negative things, but inevitably they are accused of trying to stir things up, not being “real fans”, or only showing up after losses to bitch, among other things. Now that’s not to said that the people who are negative don’t make fun of the “Disney Dawgs” either, they certainly do.
Then you have people like me, those in the middle, those that don’t think that the UGA coaching staff can do no wrong but also don’t expect them to be fired tomorrow morning. The problem is that like with politics, it’s getting more and more impossible to stay in the middle anymore. If you say something that one side disagrees with, you’re vilified by that side, you’re not a “real fan” etc.
I find it discouraging both that being a sports fan can be like following politics and that even though the internet can bring people together with similar ideas from all over, it also lacks the civility that you would use when dealing with someone with an opposite view in real life. I’m sure there’s probably political messageboards and blogs out and there I truly shudder to think how bad they must get.
Just take a fucking step back people: whether it’s sports, politics, music, art…whatever, just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them a bad person, fan, someone with bad taste, etc. Stop tying your own personal opinions into your self worth so much that you actually get angry because someone dares not share the same opinion as you all the time. I’m certainly as guilty as any at getting into arguments with people over dumb shit, but just try to have some civility even if it is just the internet.